The August 29 opening of the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale is approaching and the U.S. Pavilion, themed Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good, is beginning to take shape.
Organized by the Institute for Urban Design, the exhibition will examine the nascent movement of architects, designers, planners, artists and everyday citizens initiating their own projects to bring positive change to U.S. cities.
For the first time ever, the U.S. pavilion will feature an installation rather than a conventional exhibition of projects. Designed by the Brooklyn creative studio Freecell, the space will feature a lively system of banners that will frame an archive of 124 urban interventions. Collaborating with Sausalito-based communication design studio M-A-D, the pavilion will feature a supergraphic that serves as a bold counterpoint to the banners and acts as an installation in and of itself. This will all be presented in an enveloping environment to put Spontaneous Interventions into a broader historical and cultural context. Continuing into the courtyard, NYC-based studio Interboro (and winner of the 2011 MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program) has designed an "outdoor living room" that will serve as the pavilion's hang-out and workshop space during the three months of the Biennale.
"The emphasis of the 2012 Biennale is on what we have in common," said British architect David Chipperfield, who organized the Common Ground exhibition. "Above all, the ambition of Common Ground is to reassert the existence of an architectural culture, made up not just of singular talents but a rich continuity of diverse ideas united in a common history, common ambitions, common predicaments and ideals."
Fifty-five national participations will organize in the Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the city of Venice. Four nations will be participating for the first time: Angola, the Republic of Kosovo, Kuwait, and Peru.